prosecutor's office in Milan revoked the European Arrest Warrant

31. May 2017


Three states were involved, the decision was taken in Italy. However, several months' extradition detention ended with the fact that the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Düsseldorf (III - 3 AR 59/17) also rescinded an extradition arrest warrant against our Albanian client, which was based on a European arrest warrant from Italy.

Our client was detained at Düsseldorf Airport in March 17 on the basis of an Italian EU arrest warrant. In Italy, he had been sentenced to a double-digit prison sentence for drug trafficking, which had not yet been served. The arrest at the airport was followed on 04.04. by the extradition warrant of the OLG Düsseldorf (III - 3 AR 59/17).

The man had already been sentenced to imprisonment in Albania for the same crime in his home country (almost half as high as in Italy), which he has already served. The General Prosecutor's Office in Düsseldorf (4 Foreigners 49/17) did not apply the principle of the forbidden double punishment "ne bis in idem". And this despite the fact that most legal systems recognise the right not to be prosecuted or punished again for an offence that has already been judged with final judgment, Latin "ne bis in idem". It is true, however, that so far there has been neither a codified global nor a "ne bis in idem" recognised under customary international law. Many countries - including our neighbouring country, the Netherlands - regularly refrain from renewed prosecution of sentences abroad on their own initiative. However, other states - including Germany - only provide for the statutory imputation of foreign penalties to their own sentences to the extent actually already served (§ 3 S. 1 StGB).

Because the success of the defence in Germany against his extradition was therefore questionable on the basis of the principle "ne bis in idem", the European arrest warrant against our client had to be challenged in Italy at the same time. The public prosecutor's office in Milan then revoked the European arrest warrant on 24 May 2017 - expressly because of the prohibition of double jeopardy - and the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court had to follow with the revocation of the extradition warrant.


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